Q. 294.1( 9 Votes )

What properties of water make it useful as a solvent? What types of compound can it (i) dissolve, and (ii) hydrolyse?

Answer :

A high value of dielectric constants (78.39 C2/Nm2) and dipole moment and water is also called as universal solvent as it has the ability to dissolve almost every compound in it.

Water is able to dissolve most ionic and covalent compounds. Ionic compounds dissolve in and dissolve in water.


Water can hydrolyse metallic and non-metallic oxides, hydrides, carbides, phosphides, nitrides and various other salts. During hydrolysis, H+ and OH- ions of water interact with the reacting molecule.


Some reactions are:


(i) CaO + H2O Ca (OH) 2


(ii) AlCl3 + H2O Al (OH) 3 + 3HCl


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